Tag Archives: trademarks

Earlier this year we wrote about recent trends in trademark filings by China. Between 2013 in 2017 Chinese companies filed more as PTO said than 50,000 trademark applications With the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The increase in filings could be explained by growth in the Chinese economy and Chinese government subsidies, paying […]

Nearly two years ago we wrote about the Washington Redskins and its efforts to maintain their registration of REDSKINS, which the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board cancelled because it was disparaging of Native Americans.  The U.S. Supreme Court took up the cause in an unrelated case, Matal v. Tam, and held that section 2(a) of […]

In our experience, trademark applicants are often confused about the specimen requirements submitted with a trademark application involving goods (as opposed to services).  The specimen is used to prove “use in commerce.” Use in commerce under the Lanham Act is deemed to be when the mark is “placed in any manner on the goods or […]

It is widely known that China has been the source of cyber attacks against public and private entities in the United States. The nature and effectiveness of these attacks are of considerable concern. According to one estimate, cyber theft by the Chinese has cost the U.S. economy more than $300 billion annually taking into account […]

Trademarks may reside in families.  A family of marks is a group of trademarks that have a recognizable common characteristic.  For example, you may recall that Eastman Kodak owned trademarks for KODACOLOR, KODAMATIC, and KODACHROME, the term “Koda” being the common element of all three trademarks.  A family of marks is established when the purchasing […]

In 2013, we wrote about the branding wars between candy bar makers.  These disputes are good measure of the boundaries between 3-D trademarks that have acquired distinctiveness (registrable) and those that are functional (not registrable). In 2006, Nestlé was granted trademark rights in the “distinctive” shape of its KitKat bar in various European countries.  But […]

The distinctive smell of Play-Doh evokes memories of many happy hours of childhood play, those of my children and mine. Perhaps, if you played with the colored “doh,” you probably share similar nostalgia.  Hasbro has been making Play-Doh since the 1950’s and its distinct odor is not natural but a fragrance that Hasboro added to […]

Marijuana has become big business. We never thought it would happen but now  29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana and eight states have legalized pot for recreational use. But alas, federal law, still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act meaning that cannabis […]